Message to the Congress
on Norwegian Noncompliance With the International
Whaling Commission Conservation Program
August 4, 1986
the Congress of the United States:
to the provisions of subsection (b) of the Pelly
Amendment to the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967, as amended (22 U.S.C.
1978(b)), I am reporting to you following certification by the Secretary of
Commerce that Norway has conducted whaling activities that diminished the
effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) conservation
the Pelly Amendment, when the Secretary of Commerce
determines that a foreign country is conducting a fishing operation that
diminishes the effectiveness of an international fishery conservation program,
he will certify this determination to the President. After receiving a
certification, the President may direct the Secretary of the Treasury to
embargo the offending country's fishery products to the extent sanctioned by
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Within 60 days following the
certification, the President is required to notify the Congress of any action
taken under the certification.
June 9, 1986, Secretary of Commerce
Malcolm Baldrige certified that Norway has conducted whaling
operations that diminish the effectiveness of the IWC conservation program.
Secretary Baldrige based his determination on the
following: (1) the Norwegian harvest of minke whales
in the North
was from two stocks for which the IWC had established zero quotas and (2) there
had been no indication that Norway intended to comply with
Norway had objected to the IWC
decision which resulted in the setting of zero quotas and, additionally, to the
IWC classification of the primary stock whaled as a ``protection stock'' which
by definition prohibits commercial whaling. By objecting, Norway is not bound by these
IWC decisions under international law. Even though the objections release Norway from any treaty obligation
to observe the zero quotas, the taking of more minke
whales than permitted under quotas is inconsistent with the international
conservation standard and, in the absence of remedial or mitigative
actions, diminishes the effectiveness of the Commission and its conservation
Government of Norway announced on July 3, 1986, that it would suspend
commercial whaling after the 1987 coastal whaling season and would reduce the
domestic quota for 1987 from the total quota of 400 animals planned in 1986.
Because the foundation of the effectiveness of the IWC conservation program
remains the voluntary compliance of member governments, and the Norwegian
decision contemplates compliance, even though delayed, with IWC zero quotas, I
am not imposing sanctions upon Norway at this time.
am making this decision on the premise that Norway will not allow the
resumption of any commercial whaling after the 1987 season unless the IWC takes
affirmative action to authorize such a resumption.
Secretary Baldrige will continue his certification of
Norway until the Government of
Norway withdraws its objections to the IWC decisions mentioned above or the IWC
authorizes the resumption of commercial whaling on stocks of interest to Norway.
have therefore directed Secretary Baldrige, in
cooperation with Secretary of State George Shultz, to monitor developments
relating to Norwegian whaling carefully during the period of this
certification. I will expect to receive any additional recommendations as may
be warranted under the certification, and I will at that time reassess my
position and take necessary action. I will send to the Congress a supplemental
report at such time.
August 4, 1986.